Thursday, February 15, 2007

More musketeers

Continuing the Musketmania - technically Dumas-mania, as I also watched the Count of Monte Cristo mini-series, but that doesn't sound as cool, does it? - I watched the recent movie of The Man in the Iron Mask, which I've happily managed to avoid for several years now.

It's actually pretty good. In fact, Gabriel Byrne, Jeremy Irons and Gérard Depardieu may be as fine a d'Artagnan, Aramis and Porthos respectively as I've seen. The script is generally solid, but not quite up to the standard they set. John Malkovich's Athos, I'm still struggling with. It's certainly a good performance as something, but he hardly seems the oldest and noblest of the Musketeers, as he is in the novels.

Leonardo DiCaprio, I recall, got blasted for his performance, and that was at least half justified. His performance as Louis is abysmal. Yes, he's brash and arrogant, etc., but in such a modern, un-royal manner. His performance as Phillipe is just fine, however, if not a tad better than that.

Continuing my new pet peeve, however, there is generally an even wider split in the pronunciation of d'Artagnan, especially DiCaprio and Malkovich seem almost ridiculous with their very, very American "dar-TA-A-A-A-ANN-yun". Notably, Depardieu, who I'm guessing has the best idea how to say it correctly, says something in between the extremes I noted before, something similar to "DAR-tun-yun". Honestly, I still don't see how Irons and Malkovich can have an extended conversation, saying the name repeatedly and not distract themselves and the director with the alternating pronunciations, though.

But none of this is here nor there, it's a pretty solid and fun movie. I dug it.

One more note on the general subject, Anchor Bay calls their DVD set The Complete Musketeers, which seems odd to me as it seems quite clearly not to include The Return of the Musketeers, with the same cast, writer and director as the first two. It seems to have switch studios, but since Anchor Bay doesn't represent either studio, it seems a stretch of an argument.

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